About World Trade Month

May is World Trade Month

May is World Trade Month in the United States and is an opportunity to recognize the importance of exporting to the U.S. economy and encourage U.S. businesses to begin or expand their export efforts.
U.S. exports of goods and services totaled more than $2.5 trillion in 2021 supporting nine million U.S. jobs, according to the U.S. International Trade Administration. Of that, 97% of the nearly 300,000 U.S. companies that export are small or medium-sized businesses, which the U.S. Census Bureau defines as having 500 or fewer employees.

Why World Trade Month Matters

Companies that export grow revenue and profits faster, pay their workers more, and are less likely to go out of business than companies that don’t.

With 95% of the world’s consumers located outside the U.S., exports can help grow companies’ overall sales and profits, reduce their dependence on a single market, and extend the life of existing product lines.


History of World Trade Month


World Trade Month was first celebrated as World Trade Week in 1927 by the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce. According to the Chamber, “This occurred during a time of isolationism and under the conditions prevailing during the heyday of the restrictive Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act.”


In 1935, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt made World Trade Week a national observance to be celebrated during the third week of May each year. Roosevelt made this proclamation after he won passage of the Reciprocal Trade Agreements Act in 1934, which, according to William E. Leuchtenburg, Professor Emeritus of History at the University of North Carolina, “allowed him to grant ‘most favored nation’ trade status to countries with which the United States worked out trade agreements.”


Since 1938 World Trade Week has been celebrated during the entire month of May by a number of federal agencies, state trade offices, area chambers of commerce, World Trade Centers, trade associations, and other public and private organizations. These celebrations include award ceremonies and educational programs throughout the country.

The World Trade Month Association Supports All Importers & Exporters

The World Trade Month Association website allows individuals and organizations interested in learning more about exporting to be notified of export-related events in their area as well as virtual seminars, classes and celebrations hosted online. With the support of our sponsors and the community, we’re building a centralized resource to continue supporting World Trade Month and everyone who works in trade.

Sign Up for World Trade

Sponsorship Opportunities

Support World Trade Month and support the millions of Americans who import and export goods.


World Trade Month Events

Find online and in-person World Trade Month events to help you learn more and make new connections.


Sign Up for World Trade Month 2024 Updates

We’re still collecting events and updates for World Trade Month 2024. Get on our mailing list and be the first to know about WTM 2024 events.